When 12-year-old Kiran* was brought to doctors at Kovai Medical Center and Hospital (KMCH) in Coimbatore with advanced kidney failure resulting from a genetic condition, they knew he would need a transplant to survive. When the boy’s uncle came forward as a donor, doctors were first relieved, until they discovered that the boy and his uncle both suffered from a blood clotting disorder. This would mean that taking them up for surgery would put them at immense risk.
Five months ago, Kiran was taken to meet Dr V Mangalakumar, a nephrologist at KMCH. The doctor recognised that the child was afflicted with Alport’s syndrome, a genetic disorder which results in declining kidney functions. The doctor advised that a kidney transplant be done at the earliest. When Kiran’s uncle came forward to donate his kidney and both the boy and his uncle were subject to routine pre-surgical assessment, it was discovered that they both suffered from a bleeding disorder called hemophilia.
Haemophilia occurs due to a clotting protein deficiency. This means that in the event that the individual is injured and bleeding occurs, it will not stop. Haemophiliacs face risk of severe blood loss and even death, from the smallest of cuts. Those with haemophilia are considered to be at extreme risk for undergoing surgery, as there is a high chance that they may bleed excessively following the surgery.
“The only way to safely take up a haemophiliac for surgery is by first ensuring that they are prepped with the missing protein. This is done to ensure that the clotting mechanism is restored temporarily so that any bleeding that does occur will stop. The protein also needs to be given for at least 10 days after the surgery to minimise any late bleeding complications,” stated an official from the hospital.
Dr Rama Prabhahari, a haematologist, was consulted in order to ensure that the boy and his uncle were fit enough to be taken into surgery. Dr Mangalakumar along with his team of urologists Dr Barani Kumar and Dr Kuppurajan and vascular surgeon Dr Bala Sundaram performed the rare kidney transplantation surgery.
Both Kiran and his uncle are doing well following the surgery. While his uncle was discharged in 5 days, Kiran was discharged 10 days following the surgery. Doctors who have been following up with the boy report that the kidney transplant bodes well and that the boy is enjoying a healthy life.